Thursday, 9 February 2017
Questions without Notice
Senator McKim, you can hardly expect me to comment on an opinion published today that I have not read or considered. I will read the opinion and I will form my own views, but the point I made to you in the debate this morning I repeat: the people who were subject of these removal proceedings are people who have been determined not to be refugees. You say that this particular professor asserts that the procedure whereby that assessment is arrived at is in some respects flawed, though you do not indicate in what respects it is asserted to have been flawed. Nevertheless, it is the case that if a person is determined not to be a refugee, then they are lawfully subject to removal proceedings to their country of origin.
While we speak of the Manus Island detention centre, Senator McKim, might I also remind you that every single person in the Manus Island detention centre—whether they be a person determined to be a refugee or, as in the case of the people of whom we speak now, people whose claim to be a refugee has been rejected—every single one of them, was placed in that detention centre by the Rudd Labor government in consequence of a deal entered into between New Guinea and Australia at the time of the Rudd Labor government. The other point I would make to you, Senator McKim, is that since the election of the coalition government in 2013, we have been dealing with the legacy case load inherited from the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments. We have emptied all of Australia's detention centres and resettled the people. The people in offshore detention have been the subject of a recent agreement with the American government.